Strange capitalism

Land-use laws changed dramatically. The poor in England were no longer able to freely draw use values from public or wild areas. They became dependent on the market economy to obtain all of the necessities of life.

This dependency on the market put downward pressure on wages because it produced a massive reservoir of surplus labor.

Well, you’re going to have to show that wages did fall. Which I don’t think you can……

18 comments on “Strange capitalism

  1. And it goes on to describe sugar as a worthless, empty food. Yet it is full of calories, needed by the manual worker in those days as now.
    An army doctor was once asked for the five best cures for stress. Answer: a cup of tea and four lumps of sugar.
    Empty, useless food? The stupidity, it hurts.

  2. Enclosures were mostly early 16th (Thomas More compains about turning arable land into pasture in Utopia, published in 1516) and late 18th century, not 17th century. So she’s talking rot.

  3. The switch from foods with high nutritional value (beer, for example) to those with little or none but with high comfort value (tea, for example)

    Personally I find beer to have a very high comfort value.

    I see some connection between this history of empty or comfort foods and the continued support Trump is receiving from his base.

    Talk about drawing a long bow. At the very best you could call it an analogy. A connection, well that might be harder. It certainly gave me a bit of mental whiplash.

    Of course slavery (US slavery of course, the only one anyone ever talks about) somehow gets a mention! Bonus virtue points.

  4. Non-nutricianal and comfort foods means the populous has progressed so it is rich enough to not longer be scraping a subsistance from the earth, I can’t how that can be anything other than a good thing.

  5. And now they’re forcing iPhones on us. If you had to invent something with less nutritional value than a teabag, then this is it.

  6. This is just another one of those bizarre people who believe that in ye olde days the proles who lived as subsistence farmers – with access to common lands were so much better off than today. Given that the pretty much the only people in the world today who live on the sub $1 a day definition of poverty are subsistence farmers, we can chalk this down to total idiocy.

  7. “The poor in England were no longer able to freely draw use values from public or wild area”: wild areas, in England? As far as anyone can tell every square inch of England has been owned by someday or other since the Bronze Age, possibly since the Neolithic.

    And “the poor” had no rights to use Common Land; its use was reserved to the Commoners – usually defined as being residents in particular cottages. The poor agricultural labourer in his hovel was usually not a Commoner. For a start, he’d have nowhere to keep cattle over the winter, nor any hay or corn to feed them on.

  8. It was enclosures that led to Britain having the most productive agriculture in Europe by the end of the eighteenth century.

  9. @J77 Look up the Midland Revolt: a serious 17th century fight-back against enclosure over a wide landscape or as Tim Worstall would see it , a mass outbreak of false consciousness by benighted backward-looking people who preferred to farm land in common ownership rather than accept the high wages , often paid to children too, being offered by wholly beneficent mill owners.

  10. So how much richer would we all be if we could graze a cow on common land…..? Or would it be just a thorough pain in the neck, and an interference with our efforts to earn a living?

  11. I see DNR Retard’s gnawed through the restraints again. If we all own land in common, you twat, then how do we apply your beloved Land Value Tax?

  12. My goodness, Trump is in the headline! as Mudede seeks a connection between present and past mindlessness, which of course he defines as not seeing things his way. The changes that rendered the serf “dependent on the market economy” (that is, on trade with others) was the societal changes that enabled him to produce fewer of life’s necessities himself. That is exactly the way to prosperity – and it does not suffer mindlessness.

    By the way, support for Trump, which for some does include “God, guns, patriotism, and saying ‘Merry Christmas'” – after eight years of Obama trying to transform, blame, or atone for America, after eight more of Bush mostly inept in his defense of her – is not mindlessness.

    I have no opinion on how mindless and empty it is to drink tea.

  13. PS – “I spent much of the last two months looking for a book or academic paper that would either improve or disprove my hypothesis.” Translate, I searched for any written material that would feed my preconceived notion. (And eventually settled for a tome on diet over the centuries!) This calls for a Doctoral dissertation.

  14. @ DBC Reed
    1607 “fight-back” sort of implies that the enclosures that they were fighting against were in the 16th century not the 17th. And if you read the reference to enclosures linked in the Wikipedia entry for “Midland Revolt” you will find it said just what I did (because, not being a professional historian, I decided to double-check before posting).

  15. “who preferred to farm land in common ownership”: but land wasn’t in common ownership in the era of strip farming. Do you understand anything about English history?

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